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I'm trying to hang several of these floating shelves

using these self-drilling wall anchors

The shelves are small and each one only weighs about 3-6 lbs each. I don't plan to put anything very heavy on there. I chose those wall anchors because they worked really well with the same shelves in my last home.

Most of them are holding just fine, but four of them came right out of the wall.

Looking at the holes, the drywall must be 5/8" or 3/4". There's a cinderblock firewall behind it. From the front of the wall to the cinderblock measures 1.25", so there's not much room back there.

I tried using a molly bolt but there isn't enough clearance back there to trigger it. Are there any toggle bolts that would work with such a tight space?

Since the shelf spacing has to be precise, I need to use the same holes the self-drilling anchors left. I've filled them with joint compound, waiting for it to fully dry and then fill in any shrinkage.

Any suggestions?

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  • Have you tried this type? homedepot.com/p/… I doubt they'll work for the existing holes; you might need to shift your shelves a couple inches. Either something like that, or you actually anchor into the CMU.
    – Huesmann
    Sep 26, 2023 at 12:39

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I suspect the EZ Anchors hit the cinderblock behind the drywall and spun in place, tearing up the drywall and causing failure.

The only solution that I can think of is to use a masonry drill to drill into the cinderblock for a regular plastic plug anchor. Those are pretty strong when used in block. Use one that takes a 1/4" hole, drill, then use a punch (or alternate tool like a long bolt) to hammer the anchor home. Obviously you will need to get appropriate length screws...

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    There's a "Bullfix" product on Amazon that looks up to the challenge despite the mutilated drywall. I only mention it because a hammer drill might be too much for the typical homeowner.
    – popham
    Sep 26, 2023 at 17:26
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    I think the Bullfix looks like my answer! I don't want to drill into the cinderblock - it's a firewall between my home and my neighbor, and I don't know if it would violate fire code.
    – wabewalker
    Sep 26, 2023 at 17:59
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    @popham Just to follow up, the Bullfix anchors worked like a charm. They are really large and peek out a little over the top and bottom edges of the shelf, but a little spackle and paint should help camouflage it. Thank you again so much for the suggestion!
    – wabewalker
    Sep 29, 2023 at 22:45

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